For Steuben glass collectors a unique American tradition has come to an end. According to a report in the New York Times on September 15, 2011 the 108 year old glassmaker shut down its factory in Corning, New York and its flagship store on Madison Avenue in Manhattan is closing. Roy Sykes, a spokesman for Schottenstein Stores Corporation, which bought Steuben from Corning Inc. three years ago said, “We did not see an increase in new consumers or established collectors.”
Steuben Glass Works was founded in 1903 when Thomas G. Hawkes persuaded Frederick Carder to leave his employment at Stevens & Williams in England and move his family to Corning, NY. Carder established a glass factory to manufacture fine quality blanks for cutting by the Hawks firm. In addition the factory started making a wide variety of art glass items that competed with many other glass companies including Tiffany, Quezal and Kew Blas.
In Glass Shards, the newsletter of the National American Glass Club, it is reported that Corning, Inc. has purchased the rights to the brand name Steuben, but has stated that they have no plans to revive the product line. Another center of excellence in glass making is lost to future generations.